This is my third time trying to upload this chapter.
It had been a long night for Yamato, longer than he would have liked, but he sat patiently in the office of the chief of the Odaiba police force, the chief having left to get the both of them something to drink around five minutes or so ago. He didn't really like coffee to be honest, he was more of a water and occasional beer kind of guy, but some nice black coffee would do him some good to keep him up and give him some energy on account of the fact that it was already three in the morning. He had at least gotten something to eat, the person who he had originally thought was a cop had some food already waiting for him in the van that they had driven off in, but the more and more he thought about it, the more and more the whole situation didn't sit right with him. He knew that cops didn't always have the best reputation for when it came to handling potential suspects, but all the bodies he had seen when the person who in retrospect looked as young as a teenager led him out of that godforsaken warehouse, that most definitely did not look like police work.
He didn't voice that particular opinion to anyone else though, instead preferring to wait until he had a chance to talk with the chief of police that his teenaged rescuer had informed Yamato would be waiting for him as soon as he was dropped off. True to the killer's words, when he had been dropped off at the Odaiba station the chief was waiting in the lobby, having apparently received a phone call telling him that someone with important information involving ongoing investigations was going to be arriving shortly, this someone being Yamato himself. His nerves were shaken a bit, though he was probably a bit more calm than others would have been in the very same ordeal considering his history with near death experiences in the Digital World, but he still would have preferred if there was something to occupy his mind other than the tense waiting where he would finally be able to tell the authorities about what exactly had gone down.
Yamato's knee was shaking in anxiety as he sat opposite the empty chair that belonged to the chief, and it was then that he began to finally look around the room, more so that he could have something to focus on than anything else really. To be honest the room rather lived up to his expectations of what he would expect an authority figure's office to look like, what with awards and plaques of decorated service being up and around the room, more than seemed typical actually, and the chief of course also had photographs of what Yamato assumed was his family sitting on his desk. The one thing that didn't quite sit right with him though, the one thing that bothered him even if he didn't know exactly why he would be bothered in the first place, was the fact that on the chief's desk was a plaque that read his name of 'Oshiro Minoru'. For the life of him he couldn't exactly place where he had heard the name 'Oshiro' before, but there was a vague sense that Yamato had that told him that it was a name that he should have known from somewhere.
His thoughts didn't linger much on that however, because it was then that the door of the office finally opened, an older Japanese gentleman walking in with a cup of coffee in each hand. Yamato watched as the Japanese man gave a curt thanks to the person who held the door open for him to enter, and Yamato himself thanked the man when the man quickly made his way over to him to hand him his coffee. He raised his eyebrow however when the Japanese gentleman, apparently Chief Oshiro actually, set his own cup of coffee down on his desk before proceeding to walk around the room to close the blinds so that no one from the rest of the office could peer in on them.
"I hope you like your coffee black," the chief joked as he finally made his way over to his desk and sat in his chair, "because I'm not one your groupies who is willing to up and go grab you a fresh one."
It was with that that Yamato's eyebrow remained arched, because it wasn't everyday that he met an adult who knew of his semi-fame due to his band. Usually if anything it was a lonely single mother or an unfulfilled housewife who Yamato met that was into his music and that would then proceed to actually come onto him, which was actually pretty creepy to him because more often than not his older fangirls were women old enough to be his mother, but never once had he actually met a man outside of the industry that knew about his musical success.
"You know about my music?" he asked, curious even though Yamato figured that the chief was just making small talk to break whatever ice still remained between them.
Chief Oshiro simply shrugged. "My daughter Mayumi is a big fan of yours. I see a poster of you every time I go into her room to check on her."
Yamato nodded as he took a sip of his black coffee and gave another glance at the photos sitting on the chief's desk. There was one of a younger looking Oshiro Minoru dressed in wedding attire with a beautiful old world grace type of woman, then another with the chief dressed in his uniform and giving a proud salute towards the camera, and finally there was one last photo with the chief and his family, which included his aforementioned wife, a son also dressed in a police officer's uniform, and finally a teenage girl who he figured was Mayumi that looked to be around Takeru's age give or take a year.
"She looks lovely," he quietly said at last, photographs of families who were still together always creating a sense of melancholy in Yamato considering his own family situation, and how they had all been broken up.
Surprisingly, the chief just laughed. "She isn't. I love her and all, but she's kind of pain in the ass. Once I had to reprimand her for nearly getting a mute girl killed. Nobody said anything, pun not intended, but I still knew what had gone down there once I received reports from my people."
Yamato rubbed the back of his neck for a moment since he had no idea as to what exactly he could say to that, before he just shrugged it off and decided to just get on with giving the chief his statement. "Do you think it's okay if we talk about what happened to me now?"
The chief's smiling face and jokey demeanor suddenly disappeared as the older man just sighed, it seeming to Yamato as if his kidnapping and the murder of his captors was something that the chief didn't want to actually discuss. It was then as the chief frowned that Yamato actually barely noticed just how scarred Oshiro Minoru's face actually was, both literally with all the markings that a hero cop who put the safety of others before his own welfare would have, and scars that were less visible that told Yamato that old Minoru had done things in his life that he had been ashamed about and things that he didn't want to do, invisible scars that the young musician could see because they were scars that he himself had as well.
The chief took a sip of his ever cooling coffee and shook his head before he responded to Yamato, not looking the young man in his eyes. "You mean about how members of the Amagawa Yakuza kidnapped you to make quick money off the ransom of an up and coming musician? And how after an internal struggle between the members, a struggle that resulted in their deaths, how said musician was able to escape on his own, unharmed?"
At the words of the chief who had appeared more jolly than anything else at first, Yamato felt a sense of dread inside him that he hadn't felt since he had been chained up in that warehouse with no idea of what exactly was going to happen to him. "That's not what went down."
Without replying immediately, Chief Oshiro Minoru set his coffee down on his desk and stood up, taking that moment to fish out a manila envelope from one of the drawers of his desk before handing it over to Yamato. "According to my brother, yes it is."
"Your brother?" Yamato asked as he grabbed onto the envelope that the chief was handing him, completely in the dark as to what its contents could be.
Chief Oshiro remained silent, and it was with that silence that Yamato pushed away his fears for the moment and opened the envelope to see what was hidden inside. The first thing that he pulled out was a photograph of his mother while she was walking to her car, the next was a photo of his father while the man talked on his cell phone and smoked a cigarette. There was a photo of himself while he played at one of his concerts, but the last photo was a photo of Takeru while his little brother was walking home from school with Daisuke and Hikari. He had no idea what these photographs of his family meant, and didn't look up until the chief answered his questions without being further prompted to.
"Saving you was a risk," Chief Oshiro stopped and forced himself to go on and the say the words that disgusted him, "and it was done as a favor to someone who wants to see you alive. These photos are to eliminate that risk, and to remind you that certain things could happen to go wrong again, that is depending on your statement that you give us."
Not thinking it through, Yamato immediately stood up and swung a punch over the desk between him and the now standing Chief Oshiro, hitting the older man directly in the face and completely spilling both cups of their coffees that had been sitting on the desk. The chief fell down on his back, stunned for a second at the punch that he never expected would ever come. The chief wiped some of the little blood that escaped him off the corner of his mouth, and slowly but surely Oshiro Minoru made his way to stand back up again. As Yamato watched, he expected the chief to have burning fury in his eyes, he already came to terms with the fact that he was probably going to be arrested for assaulting a police officer, but what he saw when Chief Oshiro looked back at him wasn't rage, hell, it didn't even look like it was discomfort or annoyance, but instead there was a look of sadness in the older man's eyes.
"Sit down and let's have a talk, Yamato." Chief Oshiro finally breathed out to end the silence. He recognized the look in the musician's face when the young man had hit him, it was a look that he knew meant that Ishida would do anything and everything to protect the ones that he loved, and it made him think of his own family. Not the other Oshiros though, not the Yakuza clan run by his brothers that had practically disowned him when he donated his entire inheritance to charity and joined the police academy, but the struggling waitress that he met on a Tokyo pier once upon a time that he would later marry and would later give birth to his two children. He motioned for Yamato to take his seat again, and it was then that the chief decided that perhaps it was only fair if he told the young man the whole story. "You're not the only one who has ever had family threatened by the Oshiro Yakuza."
Without another word, Yamato sat down again and prepared himself for the worst. It would take two more hours, but it was that night that he learned the truth about the Oshiros, and that he finally remembered where exactly he had heard the name before.
He smiled when she finally came into his view as he waited for her in front of his apartment building, and Takeru just breathed a sigh of relief and waved over at Hikari as he walked to meet her halfway. They actually hadn't made plans that night to meet up, instead their current hanging out being something that was more spur of the moment, and Takeru could appreciate the fact that Hikari was most definitely going to take his mind off of the shouting that had been going on for what seemed like hours back in the apartment, even if the yelling had actually been more like a few minutes than anything else, family dinner with both his parents being filled with more tension than any writer could actually put to paper.
Hikari returned the wave before she tucked her hands back into the warm pockets of her jacket, and she gave Takeru a smile that was sincere even though she didn't think the one that was on his face was completely genuine. He was glad enough to see her, that for sure she could tell, but the way that he had sounded just slightly off over the phone, the way that he sounded like if perhaps he really didn't want to be home at the moment, that in particular was what made her have her doubts about the grin that was plastered on her best friend's face.
"You doing okay?" she asked when they were finally face to face, Hikari for once not actually wanting to skirt around the issue with him.
Unsurprisingly, Takeru laughed, and simply began walking towards nowhere in particular, Hikari quickly matching his step without asking where exactly they were going. It was unspoken between them, but wherever one of them went the other would make their way there as well. Through all the bullshit, through all the heartache, that was a truth that each of them had somehow always known. "Is it that obvious that something's up?"
Hikari breathed out, creating little clouds of vapor when said breath came into contact with the cold night air. She shrugged, it not being anything new that she was able to read Takeru like a book. "I know you better than pretty much everyone, don't I?"
Takeru frowned for a second as they continued to walk, the frown also being there because of the fact that his first gut reaction to immediately rid himself of the agitation he was feeling was to call Hikari before anyone else, but he shrugged it off since what she said was true enough, not counting his trusty pig-bat roommate of course. "Maybe not Patamon. Apparently I talk in my sleep."
She gave a giggle, momentarily forgetting the uneasy tone of Takeru's voice when he had called her so that the two of them could meet up, and an image came into her mind of Patamon watching Takeru sleep, all the while the creamy orange digimon munching on some chocolate covered carrots because that was Natsuko's way of tricking him into eating his vegetables.
"Patamon is cute and all, but I'm not sure if his listening in on you in the middle of the night is that reliable." she shook her head and laughed again, elbowing Takeru at the same time so that he knew that she was kidding around, "Can anyone else verify that you talk in your sleep?"
It was an odd thing to think, even stranger to acknowledge, but the very first thought that came into Takeru's mind was to lie to Hikari. It wasn't a big lie like those women who tricked men into raising children that weren't theirs, or the cake in Portal, but it was a lie nonetheless. He didn't ponder on it much, instead the thought being more fleeting than anything else, and he actually felt that it would be something that he would very well end up laughing about later. Lying, especially to Hikari, wasn't the person that he was.
He scratched his head for a moment and looked just slightly to the side, hoping that things wouldn't be too awkward. "Ayano has mentioned a few times that I do."
Immediately, Hikari stopped walking just as they reached the sidewalk in front of his apartment building. It took a few seconds for Takeru to notice that she had stopped in her tracks, but when he did he too became motionless. Takeru and Ayano becoming physically intimate was something that she had an inkling was actually possible, but it was a completely different thing to actually have confirmation about the fact from one of the parties involved. True, Takeru didn't come right out and say that he and Ayano had made the beast with two backs or anything like that, but she was very capable of putting two and two together. She swallowed the lump in her throat though when she reminded herself that it wouldn't look good to freak out or break down or anything like that in front of Takeru at that moment, and that she would control herself, control her emotions.
Instead of doing anything else, Hikari just blinked, that being the only physical action she trusted herself doing. "I know that we've joked about it before, but I never knew that the two of you were actually doing those kinds of things."
Takeru was still looking away from Hikari, and his face was tinted red from embarrassment since the only other person who he had told about the more intimate parts of his love life was Daisuke, which admittedly might not have been the smartest thing to do since Daisuke's response was to immediately go out to buy an ice cream cake for celebration. He didn't answer vocally since he was sure his voice would crack if he tried to, and instead just gave a slow nod, hoping that that was enough for the Yagami girl.
There was nothing that she could really say to that, Hikari having the sudden urge to begin kicking around a nearby pebble to have something to take her mind off of what she had just found out, and she closed her eyes as a part of her wished that her parents had said no to her going out due to that incident about Yamato going missing and then turning up at the police station just about a week or so before.
It took a bit of inner strength, Hikari forcing herself not to tear up when she opened her eyes and as her gaze landed on Takeru, but her next words were something that she had to say. "I know that there's something that you want to talk about, Takeru, but don't you think that Ayano might be better suited to help you out? I mean, everything considered?"
Takeru remained just as silent as he had been so far, before he breathed out and a calm settled somewhere inside him. It was a fact that he had just acknowledged inside of himself that he wasn't exactly comfortable with, that it was one thing to have a girlfriend and another to have someone that you could completely trust in. "You said it yourself that you know me better than anyone, Hikari. Are you still willing to help me out?"
Slowly but surely a smile formed on Hikari's face once more. "Always."
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